Speaking at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame over the weekend, newly elected member Tracy McGrady addressed critics who point out the lack of an NBA championship on his resume.
You have to have a great team and some luck to get a ring, right? Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with that, he said (via MassLive.com). But I go back at them with this: Anybody can win a championship. Everybody can’t get in the Hall of Fame.
Irving might fancy himself as the next Kobe (Bryant) or (Russell) Westbrook alpha dogs who became MVPs after their co-star left the picture but you can’t just ignore Irving’s losing track record as the No. 1 guy. The more realistic expectation is that he’s another Lillard, Haberstroh wrote.
Lillard does have a point. Aside from a tough rookie year in 2012-13, the Trail Blazers have had a winning record each season since. They have also frequented the playoffs during Lillard’s tenure.
From an individual standpoint, Lillard is one of just three players (Oscar Robertson and LeBron James) who has recorded more than 1,500 points and 400 assists in their first five years in the league.
Isn’t that exactly why Irving wants out of Cleveland? From Irving’s point of view, he will never be the bus driver as long as James is standing next to him. Wouldn’t joining one of those other teams add some competitive balance to the league? Inserting Irving into the starting five for the Spurs or Timberwolves likely wouldn’t allow either of those teams to eclipse the Warriors, but it would make the Western Conference race more interesting.